Don't get me wrong. It was not a horrible experience. It was about half enjoyable and half stressful, with only one really *nasty* meltdown thrown in to keep us on our toes. Now there were things that were easier this time around, since Alex is older. Things like not having to deal with bottles and formula and bottle drop-ins and bibs and spit up. Yes, not having to deal with those things was nice! Here's to hoping that next year, we won't have to deal with diapers!
But of course, this time we were presented with new challenges such as: having a toddler who wants to run *everywhere* in crowded airports, having a toddler who does not understand why she has to sit on so many (and such long) airplane rides, having a toddler who is *just* starting the tantrum stage, and having a toddler who sometimes gets so overstimulated and exhausted-but just cannot sleep-so screams. So those were some of our challenges.
And honestly, Alexandra did extremely well for the most part. Given her age and the amount of travel it took to get to and from Australia, I'd say she did exceptionally well. We had a few minor melt-downs and tantrums, but only one big one. This was the mother of all meltdowns and occurred when we were at LAX waiting for our flight to Brisbane. It was about 1am eastern time and the airport was loud and bright and my poor little monkey was exhausted. But because of all the action around, she could not fall asleep. You can imagine what happened next. IT was loud; IT was ugly. I was a little worried that we would be escorted out of the airport because of the commotion. But by that point, we just felt so bad for her that we were doing everything we could to try to make her comfortable (and to get her to fall asleep).
And parts of the travel were very fun. Alex loved playing "hide n seek" with the people in the row behind us, she loved watching the planes out the windows and jabbering at them, she loved being able to run around (with me running after her). So yes, half stressful, half fun....but I will say that I am glad the travel part of the trip is over with until next summer. Going to Florida in February will be a walk in the park compared to this! Ok, so I promised less words and more pictures...oops....so here are some travel pics: